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Sign X: Like A Fire
Sign X - Like A Fire Album Art Work

Sign X: Like A Fire

Melodic Metal Rock
3.5/5.0

If I understand the press release correctly, Sign X is the reconfiguration and renaming of Chalice, a German melodic metal band with roots that go back to the early Nineties. Vocalist Gino Naschke and keyboard player Axel Hoffmann bailed on Chalice, only to be replaced by Sebastian Zierof and Michel Jotzer in their respective slots. Other (former) Chalice members remain. After a promising EP in 2018, Sign X returns to offer their first long-player, Like A Fire.

Sign X - Click For Larger Image

Sign X

I've never heard a Chalice album, so I have no context or presuppositions to judge Sign X by. Which is probably a good thing. But, I'm guessing, Sign X has strayed little from those roots. Essentially, Sign X plays melodic hard rock with a metal edge in a symphonic synth wrapper. Obviously, the hard rock angle comes from the song rhythm and groove, melody and harmony, and catchy refrains. The metal edge arrives from the abundant sharp and dense riffage found in many songs. The symphonic keyboards add another level of density as well, making some songs, like Fall, Shine, or Elements, sound both heavy and bombastic. As for Zierof's vocals, he sings strong and clean, but can seem assertive, even screamo, in a raging sort of way within Fall and Elements. Conversely, Zierof sounds more melodic and pleasant within Rain, Crush, or the brief Koda X, where his voice is arranged with acoustic guitar or piano in more mellow parts. He seems to find a middle ground with Shine, Crush, and Free Your Mind.

All in all, musically speaking, Like A Fire offers some strong songwriting and talented musicianship. If you can't find a song you like across the album, you're probably to old to rock n roll. I did find their cover of En Vogue's Free Your Mind particularly interesting: a bunch of white European males covering some sistah rap, rhythm, and groove. Seemed kinda funny.


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The Bottom Line

All in all, musically speaking, Like A Fire offers some strong songwriting and talented musicianship. If you can't find a song you like across the album, you're probably to old to rock n roll.

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